The theory that bovine nutrition and resistance to mastitis are interrelated and has been demonstrated by a number of different models.
Se and vitamin E are integral components of the host defenses against infectious diseases.
The concerted efforts of nutritionists, immunologists and veterinarians to define optimum dietary concentrations of Se and vitamin E have led to an universal improvement in bovine mammary health and milk quality.
Vitamin E supplementation of diets increased intracellular kill of Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli by bovine blood neutrophils but had no effect on phagocytic index.
Neutrophils collected from cows fed Se-supplemented diets have increased intracellular killing of bacteria, enhanced viability and reduced extracellular hydrogenperoxide concentration compared with neutrophils harvested from milk of cows fed Se-deficient diets.
Incidence and prevalence of mastitis was reduced by vitamin E/Se supplementation, especially heifers when given 21 days prepartum.
Vitamin E appears to be especially important beginning at 7-10 days before calving through 3-5 days after calving.
Cows supplemented with both vitamin E and Se had shorter rates and duration of clinical signs
Cows with serum vitamin E concentrations < 3.0 µg/ml were 9.4 times more likely to have mastitis.
Obviously, vitamin E/Se plays an important, if not well defined role in the overall nutrition of cattle. Much of this will depend on age, stage of production, stress levels and so on. It is important for the producer to understand what he needs to be shooting for in his given situation.
There is Rs 6000 crores economic losses in india during year 2002 out of which Rs 4300 crores due to subclinical mastitis and Rs 1700 crores due to clinical, thus in context of above all conditions the role of vit E / Se is inevitable in mastitis.